I have a young butternut tree planted on my land in Itasca County. It is...

Asked May 8, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT

I have a young butternut tree planted on my land in Itasca County. It is about 4-5in at the base and the top branches reach about 15 ft high. All was well until woodpeckers began attacking the tree's trunk last summer. I wrapped flex tree tape around the trunk but they pecked through that. I then got a 6 ft length of heavy black plastic flexible 8 in diameter drain tubing, slit it lengthwise, and wrapped it over the tree trunk. I left it this way over the winter. Now that it is summer with the heat and direct sun, should I remove it, or should I leave it on the tree? The tree looks ready to bud out as usual.

Itasca County Minnesota

3 Responses

Remove it as it will cause the tree to get too warm, instead use burlap as the sapsuckers will not peck through it and it will still allow the tree to breath. Once they start on a tree it is very hard to get them to stop until they have kinned it.

Thank you. I am sure I would have made this fatal mistake for the tree. Some other people(non-experts) I talked to about it thought to leave the plastic guard. Now I will remove it this weekend.Tim ZoerbEden Prairie

You are welcome and I apologize for spelling killed as kinned (how did that get through spell checker?). My uncle, a long time gardener (80 years) said it was fine to leave on until he lost several fruit trees.
Have a great Spring!